19 July 2018

PhD Thesis Defense: Cellular Networks for Smart Grid Communication

In the context of this PhD thesis defense, Charalampos Kalalas presents his work realized at CTTC.

This dissertaion deals the next-generation electric power system, known as smart grid, relies on a robust and reliable underlying communication infrastructure to improve the efficiency of electricity distribution. Cellular networks, e.g., LTE/LTE-A systems, appear as a promising technology to facilitate the smart grid evolution. Their inherent performance characteristics and well-established ecosystem could potentially unlock unprecedented use cases, enabling real-time and autonomous distribution grid operations.

However, cellular technology was not originally intended for smart grid communication, associated with highly-reliable message exchange and massive device connectivity requirements. The fundamental differences between smart grid and human-type communication challenge the classical design of cellular networks and introduce important research questions that have not been sufficiently addressed so far.

Motivated by these challenges, this doctoral thesis investigates novel radio access network (RAN) design principles and performance analysis for the seamless integration of smart grid traffic in future cellular networks. Specifically, we focus on addressing the fundamental RAN problems of network scalability in massive smart grid deployments and radio resource management for smart grid and human-type traffic. The main objective of the thesis lies on the design, analysis and performance evaluation of RAN mechanisms that would render cellular networks the key enabler for emerging smart grid applications.